Thursday, 7 January 2021

Editing Your Novel's Structure by Bethany A Tucker

Editing Your Novel's Structure: Tips, Tricks, and Checklists to Get You From Start to Finish by Bethany A. Tucker

Self published on the 26th December 2020.

How I got this book: Received a review copy via Rachel's Random Resources

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Amazon UK /

Before it’s time to check for commas and iron out passive voice, fiction writers need to know that their story is strong. Are your beta readers not finishing? Do they have multiple, conflicting complaints? When you ask them questions about how they experience your story, do they give lukewarm responses? Or have you not even asked anyone to read your story, wondering if it’s ready?

If any of the above is true, you may need to refine the structure of your story. What is structure you ask?  Structure is what holds a story together. Does the character arc entrance the reader? Is the world building comprehensive and believable? These questions and more have to be answered by all of us as we turn our drafts into books. 

In this concise handbook, complete with checklists for each section, let a veteran writer walk you through the process of self-assessing your novel, from characters to pacing with lots of compassion and a dash of humor. In easy to follow directions and using adaptable strategies, she shows you how to check yourself for plot holes, settle timeline confusion, and snap character arcs into place. 

Use this handbook for quick help and quick self-editing checklists on:
- Characters and Character Arcs.
- Plot.
- Backstory
- Point of View.
- A detailed explanation of nearly free self-editing tools and how to apply them to your book to find your own structural problems.
- Beginnings and Ends.
- Editing for sensitive and specialized subject matter.
- Helpful tips on choosing beta readers, when to seek an editor, and a sample questionnaire to give to your first readers. 

Grab your copy of Edit Your Novel’s Structure today! Now is the time to finish that draft and get your story out into the world.

Having been not so much bitten, but definitely nibbled by the writing bug since completing my own memoir, I've contemplated writing some of my own fictional stories too so the opportunity to study a review copy of Editing Your Novel's Structure by Bethany A Tucker couldn't have come at a better time for me. I appreciated Tucker's clear explanations of both central and more abstract concepts as well as her guidance on how to avoid common pitfalls (or, at least, how to spot oneself sliding into them before lengthy rewrites become necessary). I was surprised that I also found Editing Your Novel's Structure a useful book from a reader's perspective because it identified how structural issues in novels have affected my reading enjoyment. Previously I experienced dissatisfaction, but had not been able to put my finger on exactly where the problem lay. In thinking over Tucker's advice, I recalled novels I've read that perfectly illustrated the traps she warns against.

Tucker references a mix of novels, TV shows and films several of which, unfortunately, I wasn't familiar with, but I think I still clearly understood the points she wanted to make. I liked how she separated out the different aspects of novel structure - character, plot, backstory, etc. I swung between feeling overwhelmed by the number of different things that need to be considered and feeling energised by the clarity of her advice. I think Editing Your Novel's Structure is an invaluable resource for aspiring fiction authors and is also a useful guide for readers, particularly those of us who also write reviews.

Meet the author   

Bethany Tucker is an author and editor located near Seattle, U.S.A. Story has always been a part of her life. With over twenty years of writing and teaching experience, she’s more than ready to take your hand and pull back the curtain on writing craft and mindset. Last year she edited over a million words for aspiring authors. Her YA fantasy series Adelaide is published wide under the pen name Mustang Rabbit and her dark epic fantasy is releasing in 2021 under Ciara Darren. 

Author links: ~ 

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